A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America California vs. Montana for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit California or Montana?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for California and Montana. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.


California is the most populous state in the U.S. and is known for a variety of attractions such as Hollywood, warm beaches, the San Francisco bay area, Redwood trees, national parks, and stunning mountain vistas. With a variety of locations and activities to offer, California has become one of the premier travel destinations in the world.


Often called Big Sky Country for its vast blue skies, Montana is a state in the northwestern United States characterized by beautiful sweeping scenery from the Rocky Mountains in the west to the flatter prairie regions of the east. Some of the top attractions include Glacier National Park, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Yellowstone, and of course the Rocky Mountains.

Which city is cheaper, Montana or California?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in California is $198, while the average daily cost in Montana is $107. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for California and Montana in more detail.


For a normal double-occupancy room in California, $184 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in California, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $92, such as in a hostel.

The prices for places to stay in Montana can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $39, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $78.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    California $92
    Montana $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    California $184
    Montana $78


On average, meal and food prices in California cost around $37 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $15.

The price of a meal in Montana can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $24 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.60 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

  • Food Meals for one day
    California $37
    Montana $24

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in California

For California, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Carlsbad Village: 3-Hour Local Food Tour: $70
  • Napa or Sonoma Dinner Transportation: $500

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in California than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $32 on transportation in California on average per day.

To get around in Montana, the average visitor spends $52 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    California $32
    Montana $52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in California

Also for California, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Sedan Airport Transfer from Walnut Creek to SFO (one way): $199
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from Vallejo to SFO (one way): $259
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from St Helena to SFO (one way): $497
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Yountville (one way): $372
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to St Helena(one way): $497
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Sonoma (one way): $376
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Napa (one way): $372
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to East Bay (one way): $262
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Calistoga (one way): $499
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from Napa to SFO (one way): $372
  • Sedan Airport Transfer Sonoma to SFO(one way): $423
  • San Diego: Private Transfer to/from San Diego Airport (SAN): $72

Is it cheaper to fly into California or Montana?

Prices for flights to both Montana and California change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.


Sightseeing expenses in California, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $49 per day, per person.

In Montana, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $30 per person, per day.

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    California $49
    Montana $30

Tours and Activities in California

For California, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 6-Hour Private Sedan Napa or Sonoma Wine Country Tour from Napa: $557
  • 90-Minute San Diego SEAL Tour: $44
  • Bay Area Sight Seeing Tours: $500
  • Bay Area Tour With A Cantonese Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Chinese Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Farsi Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A French Interpreter: $239
  • Bay Area Tour With A Mandarin Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Pashto Interpreter: $252
  • Bay Area Tour With A Persian Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Portuguese Interpreter: $252
  • Bay Area Tour With A Punjabi Interpreter: $252


Typically, people visiting California spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Montana spend on average $8.84 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    California $17
    Montana $8.84

Sample the Local Flavors in California

Also in California, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Healdsburg Wine Tasting and Food Pairing Guided Walking Tour: $119
  • Golf Somm - A Sommelier-Led Golf and Wine Tour in Napa Valley: $308
  • 6-Hours Customized Private NAPA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hour Customized Private LIVERMORE Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private RUSSIAN RIVER Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private SONOMA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • Napa Wine Tour: $500
  • Sonoma Wine Tours: $500
  • Napa Valley Wine Tour Planning and Transportation: $513
  • 8-Hour Napa Valley Wine Tour: $570
  • Sprinter Wine Tour: $700
  • Sonoma County and Napa Valley Private Wine Tour: $775

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between California and Montana, we can see that California is more expensive. And not only is Montana much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Montana would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Montana and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in California would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in California than you might in Montana.

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California vs. Montana Travel Comparison

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